What happens in a jury trial? I’m Dan Friedman. Most of my clients have never been involved in a lawsuit and only know about them from what they see on television or the movies.
The Trial By Jury
After a jury is selected, a trial consists of four major sections, opening statements, presentation of evidence, closing arguments and deliberations. The opening statement is the opportunity for the attorneys to provide the jurors with an outline or sketch of what they think that the evidence will be during the course of the trial. Jurors often take notes during the entirety of the trial, so they are interested to know whether the evidence ends up being in line with what the attorneys promise. Next, the parties present their evidence.
Because the plaintiff has the burden of proving her case, she gets to go first and last. In a personal injury case, the evidence usually consists of testimony of the injured person, as well as testimony from one or more physicians, friends and family members. The defendant sometimes chooses to not present any evidence to the jury, relying instead on cross-examination. Finally, the lawyers have the opportunity to present closing arguments. This is the final opportunity to try to persuade the jury of how they should evaluate the factual disputes in the case. Before they deliberate, the jurors are instructed on the law.
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